The Better Business Bureau of Western Virginia reports that consumers have received suspicious phone calls claiming to be from Medicare. People were asked for their banking information in order to replace cards. If you receive one of these phone calls, the BBB advises you hang up and report the call to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General through their website or by calling 1-800-447-8477.
Here is the press release from the BBB of Western Virginia.
Roanoke, VA (March 14, 2013) Numerous seniors have contacted the BBB in Western Virginia to report suspicious phone calls claiming to be from Medicare. The consumers were told they needed to provide their banking information in order to replace expiring Medicare cards. The BBB is alerting seniors that this is a scam.
While many phone numbers can be associated with Medicare scams, one particular number has been linked to this scam in Western VA. Consumers have received multiple calls from 409-574-1214, claiming to be from Texas. A representative professing to be from Medicare will ask for the consumer’s Medicare card number which generally is close to, or is the same, as the individual’s Social Security Number. Consumers are then asked to supply their banking information in addition to their Medicare card numbers in order to receive a new card.
“Medicare and Medicaid will not call to update information or issue a new card,” said Julie Wheeler, President and CEO of BBB serving Western VA. “We want to make sure our consumers guard their personal information, especially against unknown callers.”
Those who receive such calls should hang up and report them to U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General at https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/report-fraud/ or call 1-800-447-8477.
BBB advises seniors to:
· Be suspicious of any door-to-door or telephone solicitations claiming to be affiliated with Medicare.
· Be wary of anyone offering you something for “free” in exchange for your Medicare number. Remember, Medicare will not pay for medical equipment without a physician’s signature certifying that it is necessary.
· Do not provide your bank account information, Medicare number, social security number or any other personal information to unknown individuals over the phone; particularly telephone marketers claiming to be from Medicare and asking for payment.
· Only give your insurance/Medicare information to those who have provided you with medical services.
· Never sign blank Medicare insurance forms.
•Check out the company’s BBB Business Review at http://www.bbb.org to see its BBB rating, complaint history and more.
If you need more information, contact the BBB at (540) 342-3455 or (800) 533-5501. You can also visit www.bbb.org. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/BBB_WesternVA